The New York Mets battled back from a 4-0 deficit and defeated the Baltimore Orioles 9-7 at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota. It was the team’s 13th win in 31 Grapefruit League games.
Zack Wheeler, who had allowed five runs total this spring heading into today’s game, was charged with five earned runs in three innings in his final tune-up before taking the mound next Sunday in the team’s third game of the regular season. Wheeler had a rough first inning and was tagged for four runs on four hits, including home runs to Dwight Smith Jr. and Chris Davis. Smith Jr. added a solo home run in the third inning as well. Wheeler finished with two walks and two strikeouts and finished with a 4.80 ERA in 15 innings.
The Mets fell behind early and kept clawing their way back. They trailed 4-3 after three and 5-4 after five before tying the game in the top of the seventh and eighth innings only to fall behind again in the bottom half of those innings. Finally, Dominic Smith connected on a three-run home run with two outs in the top of the ninth to give the team their first lead. Matt Blackham worked around a walk in the bottom of the ninth to finish the game and earn the save.
Some more notes from today’s game:
Pete Alonso hit his fifth home run of the spring — a solo shot in the eighth to tie the game at six — and ended up finishing in a tie with Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil for the team lead. He finished the spring with a very impressive .361/.395/.667 slash line in 72 at-bats. While the team has not made any official announcements, he will presumably travel with the club to Washington D.C. and should find himself in the starting lineup on Opening Day.
Speaking of impressive, McNeil finished 3-for-3 with two solo home runs and three runs scored. He will finish Grapefruit League play with five home runs and a .364/.397/.691 slash line in 55 at-bats. He will likely open the season as the starting third baseman with Jed Lowrie and Todd Frazier recovering from injuries.
Wilson Ramos was in the lineup one day after exiting the game with an apparent hand injury and was able to catch all nine innings. Ramos finished Grapefruit League action with a .359/.381/.487 slash line in 39 at-bats.
Despite allowing the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, Edwin Diaz earned his first victory this spring. He pitched the eighth inning for the Mets and struck out the side while allowing one run on one hit.
Robert Gsellman pitched two scoreless innings in relief for the Mets.
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